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Learning is Being

My Teaching Philosophy

I believe that every child has their own way to learn – it is up to the teacher to know their students and integrate the many aspects of learning into the classroom to help foster each student’s educational journey.  Knowledge of learning theory is critical in order to provide this for your students.

I believe that teaching how to learn, rather than what to learn, is the only way to provide a successful and meaningful education for your students.

I believe that inclusive classrooms are key to allowing all students equitable opportunities to reaching their full potential.  I say equitable because every child is capable, but every situation calls for a different approach as to how that potential can be unlocked.

I believe that teaching is as much learning from your students as they learn from you.

I believe that creativity is the heart of teaching, learning, and education overall.  It should never be overlooked, and should be always present.

I believe that students’ identities are unchangingly intertwined with how they learn and perceive knowledge – understanding this is the only way to fostering engagement.

I believe that respect is at the heart of classroom life.  If you give your students respect, they will respect you.

I believe that assessment of students’ work should go beyond just “this is what you got.”  It should provide useful information and feedforward (moving forward from the point they are at!) that a learner can grow from and understand how to employ in future work.

I believe that students have every right to know the lesson plan for what they are learning, why they are learning the things they are, and to understand new information in a way that is challenging but accessible for them personally.

I believe that classrooms are a place not only of growth; of connection and rethinking things students may already know.

Lastly, I believe that learning is truly a lifelong journey.  Stagnating on familiar routines as a teacher can be detrimental to the changing times and identities of the students.

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Final Blog Post! Week of April 10th.

This week we had a chance to share our final projects with the class!  I opted to write another song after seeing all the things I could play with on Logic Pro.  I wanted to write a chill, almost woodsy kind of song but some of the sounds I had were changed (some for the better, I’ll admit!) after adding the criteria.

Here’s the criteria and where it can be found in my song!

1. Have at least 8 tracks:  I have used 8 throughout the song.

2. One of these tracks must be audio you’ve recorded yourself. You can use a mic from me, or use the mic on your computer. You can record voice, or any other acoustic source: The “one, two, three, four” is my voice recorded.

3. be at least 90 seconds long (repetition is your friend): My song is 1:37.

4. make use of panning: This can be heard in the beginning

5. feature an automated pan from left to right or right to left: From 0:04 0:11.

6. feature volume automation to create a swell of some sort (soft to loud; loud to soft): 0:43-1:01.

7. feature a filter sweep (I gave this link in an earlier email of an example of a logic tutorial): This can be heard in the second “4” at 1:05.

8. do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usxtfNxuMAE (only works on an audio track): I added this onto the second “4” at 1:05 as well. 

9. bus all tracks to an aux with reverb to create a field of depth in your mix: present throughout!

10. at least one track must have distortion (any sub category is fine): On the main guitar the whole time.

11. at least one track must have modulation (any sub category is fine): On the celtic flute the whole time.

12. at least one track must have echo (a sub category of ‘delay’): On the organ the whole time it’s present.

Here’s a link to my song! 🙂

Blog Post: Week of April 3rd

The day finally came to present our 3rd and final Makey Makey prototype, and I am quite pleased with the end result! I took much of the advice given to me by my peers, including making larger spaces between where the buttons will be placed and (attempting) to make a continuous loop that would end when the button was pressed again.   I spent the most time redesigning the box the whole contraption was held in, adding coloured paper around the sides to make it more visually appealing for younger and older students alike.

I kept the bracelet idea for circuit completion, but am still contemplating if there would be a more effective way to connect the ground wire.  I also tried so very hard to program the space key to trigger a beat when pressed once, and then stop when pressed again, but no amount of internet help was able to solve this problem.  I ended up just leaving the setting the way I had, with the track looped 16 times.  I realised that this was too long, and so for a final touch I changed this to only 4 times.  The button can just be pressed again if need be.

What I discovered today was just how versatile this device could be!  It could easily be updated to help learn many other subjects and used for many ages as well!

Here’s a final update of my project!

I had Christian and Amanda make the buttons for the device and was pleased to see that the wires stayed in the box when the playdough was placed on top.

Here’s a link to a video of the device in use: drive.google.com/…/0B7kR30Mw6U8FWkU3cWdBYzFnNVUIMG_1354

Blog Post: Week of March 27th

This week we showed our second prototypes!  I was quite pleased with the way the box I had designed held my wires, but the top was made out of cardboard that was too flimsy and this made it difficult to press the buttons without fear of it falling in – this is the first thing I want to fix for my next prototype.  We spent some time on Monday trying to figure out how to program a sound to play continuously until the button is pressed again, at which point it will stop.  This has been a little frustrating for me, as I am not much of a computer person in the first place, but with the help of the internet I’m hoping to find someway to fix this!

Wednesday we shared some tips for Logic Pro X that we had all found, and this was quite helpful!  Christian found a tutorial to make bass drops, which we will definitely use in our song, and we tried to test this out on our own logic as well.

Amanda and Courtney shared their two prototypes, and we learned a very valuable lesson – water is conductive!  Courtney had placed her plants on top of a cardboard piece after having watered them, and the water spread out causing all notes to connect at once!  Had a little bit of a science lesson through this!

Blog Post 2: Week of March 20th

This week, we were all asked to bring an app in to play with throughout the class, and I found a couple different apps that became useful!  One of which was a basic drum kit app, and the other that we tried to work with was a beat mixer kind of app – you would press buttons, and they would play certain beats as the app played through.

We had a bit of a surprise with these apps, which was that we were to use them to write/produce a remix/cover of a song!  We took some time to decide what song we wanted to do, but settled on Closer by the Chainsmokers – this proved to be more difficult than originally thought.

First off, we started with a beat somewhat similar to that in the piece, then decided who would be using what apps to play other parts, who would be singing, and then starting practicing.  We made quite a few changes as to what the beat would sound like, and ended up doing the first verse and chorus (2x) in the end .  I’d say that one thing we could have improved upon in the group was communication, as to who wanted to do what or if anyone had any other ideas.  It was a fun exercise though!

Christian and I are also working on building more layers into our song machine assignment, and possibly adding a bass drop as well.  It’s starting to sound like a club beat for sure!

Blog Post 1: Week of March 20th

This week began on the Friday, when we presented our first prototypes for our Makey Makey.

What I wanted for my design was something similar to a launchpad, but more accessible for younger students, or those with special needs.  I began with recording three basic notes to make a triad (C, E, G) and added drum beats that could be played as well.

I added two rows of buttons, with the notes on the bottom, and the drums on the top.  I added playdough to make the buttons, and attached the wires through those buttons on a piece of paper.

I was given some very good feedback to use for the next prototype: some suggestions included adding a beat track that could be played continuously, that the playdough may dry up (so it may be beneficial to find another way…), and that maybe spacing between the buttons could be played with.

For my next prototype, I would also like to find a way to hide the wires.  It was suggested that I could put the wires through the box and have a way for the buttons to go on that, and I think that would work very well!

Here’s a link to my video! 

 

Blog Post: Week of March 13th

This Monday I did my second Demonstrate and discuss, which went very well!  I had researched technology to make music more accessible to a wide range of people, and come across the Sound Beam, which allows music to be played with only a sensor and some simple pedal pressing – I was quite excited to share!

We played with the Makey Makey software, and began figuring out how programming with the technology works, as well as possible ways to begin recording or creating the sounds we want for our first prototypes of our music instrument design.  There is quite a limitless amount of possibilities, so I cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with!

We also continued work on our song machine assignment, and Christian and I began to include some more elements of typical electronic music in our piece.

 

Blog Post: Week of March 6th

This week we continued work on our Song Machine assignment.  Working with the fun track Amanda and Courtney sent to us has proven to be a bit of a challenge, but a challenge we have accepted nonetheless.

We have been toying with adding more lyrics for verses, but we have decided on just keeping the lyrics already provided and working with them.  Using that as a chorus works quite well, so we are going more of the typical club beat route and remixing the lyrics to come up with the verses.

I’m feeling more confident with where our song is going, and am quite excited to see where Amanda and Courtney are going with what we’ve sent them.

Blog Post 2: Week of February 13th

We had the lovely Richard Cangro give us a guest lecture today, and it was a very energetic, positive experience!  His lecture was very much music based, but it also went over effective educational tools in any classroom.  What I appreciated most was, realising that I’m on the drama path, Richard took all opportunities to ask the drama side of things as well.  This was so important to me, as I had not been presented with a chance to look at actual classroom activities or methods of engagement in the drama classroom – or even just the start of a thought process of what I actually want to incorporate in my drama classroom – until doing the activities he presented us with in his lecture.  I am very grateful for the handout he gave us, as I will absolutely refer back to these points throughout my educational journey.

Blog Post 1: Week of February 13th

This Monday we continued writing our hooks.  Christian and played with a large variety of different styles, but it seemed easier to come up with another drum/bass line than anything else. Something that was very helpful this week was using the microphone to record vocal ideas that could be translated through the keyboard into whichever instrument you wanted to use.  The initial awkwardness of making random vocal melodies was trumped by the ease of recording.

I feel that we still have a little bit to go with finishing our hook, but I am very happy with many of the lines we got down!

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